Ireland’s Largest Bird Of Prey Centre Opens In Clare

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Fri Jun 27 2008

Located at the world-famous Aillwee Cave in County Clare, ‘Burren Birds of Prey & Education Centre’ is home to the most comprehensive collection of eagles, hawks, owls and falcons in the country.

The facility offers the estimated 150,000 annual visitors to Ireland’s leading show cave a unique insight into the life of raptors in Ireland, as well as an opportunity to enjoy one of three daily flying displays on the slopes of Aillwee Mountain.

"The centre is principally focused on conservation and education, and will be home to birds of prey that cannot be seen anywhere else in Ireland. It will also make Aillwee Cave and the Burren a special place to visit," explained Ms. Barbara Faulkner, Marketing Manager at Aillwee Cave.

She added, "The centre will offer interactive information boards focused on education and will run breeding programmes for indigenous species. During the breeding season many young birds will be on display while the incubation room will provide visitors with a rare insight into the care and rearing of young raptors."

"The opening of this centre is appropriate with the current attention on the White Tailed Sea Eagle introduction programme in Kerry, the Golden Eagle project in Donegal and the Red Kite re-introduction programme in Wicklow", stated Ms. Faulkner.

Darren Reddington and Ben Johnson, who both are experienced handlers of birds of prey, are managing the project.

Darren Reddington is a professional falconer and is already contracted by several county councils and state bodies using birds of prey to clear landfill sites, airfields, recycling plants and food and chemical companies of other birds and rodents which cause potential harm, directly or indirectly. He has considerable experience in the training and handling of birds of prey for display purposes.

Ben Johnson of Aillwee Cave has been involved with handling and keeping birds of prey for the past twenty years and has in the past kept birds of prey on display to the public on a small scale.

According to Ms. Faulkner, "The addition of the Birds of Prey Centre keeps with the image of whole Aillwee Cave complex. It provides a new and innovative tourism product in North Clare that further encourages visitors to stay in the region longer. We anticipate that this project will attract a different sector of the tourist market and raise the profile of the Burren and the region from an environmental, educational and conservational viewpoint."

In addition to hosting Ireland’s premier show cave, the Aillwee Cave currently offers visitors a serviced 24-acre site, including Cheese Making at the Farmshop, Coppice Woodland and Mountain Walks.

Aillwee Cave is one of the many thousands of ancient caves beneath The Burren with over 1km of passages. Its features include an underground river and waterfall as well as stalactites and stalagmites. The remains of bears can be seen inside the caves. Unlike many other caves there is no evidence that cave has been used by humans.

Local man Jacko McGann, who discovered the cave while searching his dog and explored much of the cave by candlelight, was perhaps the first human who set foot in it. The cave, which is privately owned by two local families, first opened to the public in 1976.

For further information on the Burren Birds of Prey Centre, contact Barbara Faulkner, Marketing Manager, Aillwee Cave on 065-7077036 or e-mail:


Notes to Editor:
- Barbara Faulkner (0863647173) is available for interview
- High resolutions images of birds of prey on display are available on request. To arrange please call Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or
- About Dick Warner: He presented three series of the half-hour documentary programme, Waterways, in which he explored Ireland's canals by barge. Waterways was first broadcast in 1991 on RTÉ and later transmitted internationally on channels such as Discovery and Channel 4. In 1992, Warner won a Jacob's Award for Waterways. He has a weekly column in the ‘Irish Examiner’ newspaper and is a regular contributor to a number of magazines
- Directions to ‘Burren Birds of Prey & Education Centre’ may be found at

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

Visit website »